Marie Kilbane of the Ohio Lottery said in her state that includes whether a winner owes child support. “Internally, we verify who this person is,” she said. “With all our winners.”
Ohio is one of at least seven states that allow winners, who might be suspicious of fraud or become the target of crime, to hide their identities. Others include Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota and South Carolina. States differ in the conditions under which they allow winners to remain anonymous or whether they can collect in the name of a trust, she said.
In Texas, a winner of $1 million or more can remain anonymous. In Arizona, winners of $100,000 or more can choose anonymity, but their city and county of residence are not confidential. In California, the winners’ names are part of the public record. Some states, such as Michigan, do not allow a trust for multi-state lotteries such as Mega Millions or Powerball.
Not all lottery winners are required to show up to a press conference with a broad smile, clutching a giant fake check. Under its Open Records Act, the Wisconsin Lottery releases the winner’s name and city upon request. All other information, including media interviews, belongs to the winner.
So you just won the lottery. Now what?
You don’t need our advice on yachts, private islands and luxury cars, but experts say a winner should get help from a lawyer, financial adviser or accountant reputed. Do your research first.
Tax advice is essential. The winner of Friday’s jackpot could take $747.2 million in a lump sum or choose to take the $1.28 billion payable in annual installments over 30 years. The federal government will take 24% on top, and you may also owe state taxes. Either choice will propel you into the top federal income tax bracket, currently at 37% and expected to rise in the future, as Kiplinger noted in this guide for lottery dreamers. .